University of WisconsinFaculty Document 1071
Madison2 May 1994
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON
ACCESS AND ACCOMMODATION IN INSTRUCTION
In April of 1993, the University Committee constituted an ad hoc committee
to develop a campus policy on access and accommodation in instruction
for students with disabilities. Committee members were Bob Christiaansen
(Kinesiology), Read Gilgen (L&S Learning Support Services), David
Griffeath (Mathematics), Charles James (German and Curriculum and Instruction),
John Moore (Chemistry), Michael Streibel (Curriculum and Instruction),
Kenneth Streit (Law School), and Edna Mora Szymanski (Rehabilitation Psychology
and Special Education). The committee was also assisted by Donna Jones
(Office of Affirmative Action and Compliance) and Trey Duffy (McBurney
Disability Resource Center).
The committee has met regularly since its appointment. Representatives
from the McBurney Center were invited to describe current procedures and
policies. Two students with disabilities, who were involved with the McBurney
Center, attended on occasion to provide feedback. The committee members
developed, debated, and refined the policy line by line. Thus, the attached
policy represents the results of a consensus process.
Current federal and state legislation (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities
Act [ADA], Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Wisconsin State Statute
36.12) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities
in university programs. Title II of the ADA requires that the campus provide
persons with disabilities with reasonable access to services, programs,
and activities. The Chancellor has appointed an ADA coordinator (i.e.,
Donna Jones, the Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Compliance)
to ensure compliance with the ADA by facilitating campus-wide implementation
of the this legislation.
The legislation requires that academically qualified students with disabilities
must be reasonably accommodated in instruction. Faculty have an important
role to play in securing such accommodations because at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison they have primary and statutory responsibility for
academic and educational activities. The following policy describes the
relevant principles, processes, and structures.
UW-Madison Faculty Policy on Access and Accommodation in Instruction
We believe in the right of all students who are enrolled at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison to full and equal educational opportunity. Disability
should not be the basis for exclusion from educational programs. All students
are entitled to an accessible, accommodating, and supportive teaching
and learning environment.
Responsibility for shaping the teaching and learning environment and
maintaining the highest academic standards rests with the faculty. Responsibility
for implementing legislation regarding persons with disabilities rests
with faculty, deans, and the Chancellor (through the campus Americans
with Disabilities Act Coordinator). Shared governance and cooperation
between faculty and college and campus administrations is necessary to
ensure that reasonable and timely accommodations exist for students with
disabilities. Instructional content, pedagogy, assessment, environment,
and individual difference must all be taken into account. The UW-Madison
Faculty Senate adopts the following principles, structures, and processes:
Implementation of policies requiring reasonable accommodations for students
with disabilities is a shared faculty and student responsibility. Students
are expected to inform faculty, in a timely manner, of their need for
special instructional accommodations. Faculty, either directly or in coordination
with the McBurney Center, are expected to work with students to identify
and provide reasonable instructional accommodations. Such accommodations
may be provided by the McBurney Center, directly by faculty, or through
other arrangements mutually agreeable to the student and faculty member.
If the suitability or venue of a proposed accommodation is uncertain,
the instructor should provide the best possible accommodation until the
situation has been reviewed through established appeals processes, unless
doing so would constitute an undue burden on the faculty member or department,
or a demonstrably unfair advantage to the student.
The University Committee shall charge the appropriate faculty committee(s),
which will include student and academic staff representatives, to
work with the ADA coordinator (1) to recommend relevant instructional
accommodation policies to the Chancellor, and (2) to review access
and accommodation appeals not resolved at the school/college level.
Deans of schools and colleges shall regularly provide faculty and
instructional staff with appropriate training and information regarding
the provision of reasonable accommodation, and about appropriate and
available technical assistance.
Chairs of departments shall designate a member of the faculty, and
directors of instructional support units a member of that unit, to
serve as an Access and Accommodation Resource Coordinator (AARC) with
the responsibility to inform faculty, staff, and students about accommodation
issues and policies, appropriate responses to student disability accommodation
requests, and available appeals procedures. In schools or colleges
in which there are no departments, or in which the school or college
is the major focal point for educational programs, deans may, alternatively,
appoint an AARC at the college level.
The AARCs shall also communicate regularly with the Division Level Representatives
(DLRs). The DLRs have been designated by Deans and Directors to facilitate
the processing of academic staff and classified employee disability accommodation
requests (per the Disability Accommodation Policy for Classified Employees,
1/31/92; and the UW-Madison Academic Staff Disability Accommodation Policy,
The University of Wisconsin-Madison shall provide access and accommodation-related
training and information to students, faculty, and staff on a regular
basis. This includes, but is not limited to, notifying students through
appropriate media and communications networks that they are responsible
for communicating their need for disability access and accommodation
to course instructors as soon as possible -- preferably before the
beginning of a semester, or as soon as possible after a disability
has been incurred or recognized.
Departments, schools and colleges shall review the reasonable access
and accommodations needs of their students on an annual basis, and
provide a written summary report to the next level of academic administration.
College level reports to the Provost shall be shared with the University
The Chancellor and deans will assist departments and other instructional
units in locating and obtaining the resources needed to provide reasonable
access and accommodation for students with disabilities.
UW-Madison Fac Doc 1071 - 2 May 1994